Efforts to rescue a three-year-old child stuck inside a 28-feet borewell in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior district were dimming by the minute even as security personnel dug through the earth to save him, authorities said on Saturday.
Abhi Pachori slipped and fell into the borewell in his father’s field while playing on Friday evening and has been motionless ever since.
The rescue team is worried about the lack of movement and the presence of several-foot-long snake moving around him, as seen with a video camera.
“We are optimistic but the chances of the boy’s survival appear very dim now,” said sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Amanveer Singh Bains.
(22/7/16): Three year old boy falls into a borewell in Gwalior(MP), rescue operations continue pic.twitter.com/u6lVzyKLeD— ANI (@ANI_news) July 23, 2016
This is the third such incident in the state in the past year, raising questions about the preparedness of the government to deal with and stop such crises. In both the past incidents, the child died before rescue personnel reached them.
“The BJP government is in power for 12 years. What has been its plan to check recurrence of such incidents”, asked Rajkumar, a local resident.
The rescue team changed strategy around midnight, deciding to dig deeper to touch 34 feet, six feet deeper than the borewell.
“We will try to pull the child from beneath the pit level,” said Bains.
As chances of the child’s survival dimmed, thousands of people joined the boy’s parents in prayer with many complaining that the local administration did little to cover unused borewells.
“How long children would lose their lives due to carelessness of people and also the government?” asked Mukesh Kushwah, a Gwalior resident.
The BJP legislator from Bhind, Mukesh Chaturvedi, said he would raise the issue in the state assembly and meet chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to check such incidents. There should be a stringent law to prevent children’s death, he added.
Pachori fell into the open borewell situated in his father Hemesh Pachori’s field at village Kheri-Gaon of Dabra block, about 45 kilometers from Gwalior on Friday evening. He was playing with other children when he slipped and fell into the borewell. The black soil was wet due to recent rainfall and the ground was slippery, sources said.
A team of field officials including the SDM, revenue officials and rescue personnel rushed to the spot soon after alarm was raised by villagers. A team of Border Security Force (BSF) jawans and authorities also reached the spot.
Parallel digging to reach the bottom of bore-well was almost complete before midnight and efforts were underway to connect the two pits but plans were altered to avoid any harm to the child.